Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
In the US, one in ten teens experience dating violence from a boyfriend or girlfriend each year. February has been designated as Teen Dating Violence Awareness month in order to bring attention to a growing problem throughout the country. Teen dating violence includes physical, psychological, or sexual abuse, and most teens do not openly ask for help or seek guidance from adults. There are many warning signs that a teen is in an abusive relationship, but the most common are: extreme mood swings, isolation, physical harm, bad grades, and sexual activity.
Teens who are involved in abusive relationships are far more likely to be involved in the same types of relationships as adults. Approximately 25% of parents do not talk to their teens about domestic abuse, which can help perpetuate the cycle. In the month of February, parents are encouraged to start the conversation about domestic abuse and educate teens on the warning signs and consequences. Websites such as youth.gov, loveisrespect.org and breakthecycle.org are available as resources for parents of teen abuse victims, as well as teen abusers.